Monday, May 16, 2011


Even as transit agencies are cutting back around the country due to the bad economy, LA’s rail expansion program is moving ambitiously forward — thanks to the Measure R half-cent sales tax. The LA Times reports that next year, for the first time ever in LA, there will be three rail projects under construction at the same time: Expo to Culver City, the Gold Line to Azusa, and Crenshaw/LAX. (The link to the Times story is below).

The chart above, from a presentation made to Move LA’s Leadership Board by LA Metro last month, shows there would be five lines under construction next year, and eight lines by 2013, if the 30-10 plan (to use low-interest loans and bonds from the federal government to complete all projects within the decade) goes into effect.

The LA Times noted that transit watchers across the country say this region has become the prime example of how to raise money for rail. The Times quoted Brookings Institution spokesman Adie Tomer: “You have this archetype of LA as the highway city of America. Really, in fact, voters are looking to invest in a mode outside of driving . . . All of a sudden you have this really big powerful place that’s not just changing mind-sets about who they are but has the potential to dramatically remake the way you get around it. [This opportunity] is going to be watched across the country.”

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